Joy Goldkind

Watching You Watch Me


I comb my hair.

You watch from the bed,

your eyes widening.

Each strand ties you to me.


I place pomade on my palm,

frangipani, red jasmine,

rub my hands together,

melt it with the heat of my skin.

My wrists, like swan necks,

glide from root to end, beckoning.

I know this: You are mesmerized

by the dark silk, the shine, the scent.


My hair snares you like a spider’s web.

I see you, from the corner of my eye,

swooning in the mirror,

caught in the teeth of my comb.



Judith Saccucci

What My Hands Want To Say


When, as now in bed, I reach to touch her face,

I wish my hands were lighter, softer,

something other than what they are,the hard hands of a laborer,

and of one who has lived too near the street,

where what is gentle becomes suspended,

like the seeds at the heart of an apple—

this tart green apple I hold before her mouth.

Even when I wipe the juice from her chin,

as she stares through my eyes, seeing everything within,

I doubt my outer hand is capable of expressing

what the inner one intends.

And so I hope her cheek, her temple and her hair

will hear what my stunned touch

is stumbling to say, that her nose and right eyebrow will know

that when I am touching her like this,

she reaches the place in me where I am finally free

of selfishness, a creature surrounded

by the field of her. And though the sound that comes

from my throat is a growl, I want her to somehow sense

that beside her with a tending love

in this body that would defend her to its death,

a being is seeing her being

and hearing the silence in each of her eyes

as clearly as the sounds of Om

and Amen.



Raymond Philip Asaph

Joy Goldkind

The Door


So many moments of wild geese,

obsidian eyes sifting the language of marsh,

their dark squadrons of hissing wings directing

them to somewhere else that will be home--

sudden sentences of monarchs

before they become orange echoes that

gather in a faraway place full of light--

golden words from friend or stranger

without address that melt the ice

and bind us up again.


The universe overflows with the abundance

of these moments. How can I shelter

such gifts close to the warmth of my body,

so they do not disappear into the cold

standing ready to steal away the harbor?

Sometimes they can barely move their wings

against the closed door of the wind.

Sometimes they vanish into the dark.


Talk to me of how you've walked

through a long night in your life, eyes full

of thin threads of sun on the ceiling.

Explain how, in times like these,

only fingers feel along the walls.

Though each nerve throbs without syntax

back to the brain of the beast,

even so, whisper to me how

to feel a rhythm, to navigate.


Tell me how to redeem a lost hour

and make it bloom. Is it simple,

like humming one heartbeat after another?

Or profound as the communion of our breath—in/out, next and next and next

until we connect again

with the river of air and find the way?



Elaine Preston

Karen Celella

Marlene Weinstein


     to Alfredo


I will conjure you up,

lift you from the primordial mud.

I will raise you from the molten lava.


I will breathe fire into your mouth,

blow a tempest till your eyes flutter,

tongue spices in your nostrils till they quiver,

scatter my scent till your body like a river

flows toward me.

I will suck up the earth that binds you.

I will lure you from Hades’ dark angels,

dance nude with ribbons and tambourines.

I will sing sirens’ songs with lute and strings.


I will carry you past Lairs of Demons,

I will be your armor, coil round your thigh,

squeeze like the sacred serpent

thrashing waters of Scylla and Charybdis.


I shall hide you under black shrouds

as I row down the Styx.

I will chant sorcerers’ incantations

and trace hieroglyphs on your phallus.

I shall rage, explode like volcanoes,

rupture your last bond.

Your feet shall follow mine

into the Land of the Living


and we shall lie together.



Muriel Harris Weinstein

The Custom of the World


O, we loved long and happily, God knows!

The ocean danced, the green leaves tossed, the air

Was filled with petals, and pale Venus rose

When we began to kiss. Kisses brought care,

And closeness caused the taking off of clothes.

O, we loved long and happily, God knows!


“The watchdogs are asleep, the doormen doze . . . .”

We huddled in the corners of the stair,

And then we climbed it. What had we to lose?

What would we gain? The best way to compare

And quickest, was by taking off our clothes.

O, we loved long and happily, God knows!


Between us two a silent treason grows,

Our pleasures have been changed into despair.

Wild is the wind, from the country blows,

In which these tender blossoms disappear.

And did this come of taking off our clothes?

O, we loved long and happily, God knows!


Mistress, my song is drawing to a close.

Put on your rumpled skirt and comb your hair,

And when we meet again let us suppose

We never loved or ever naked were.

For though this nakedness was good, God knows,

The custom of the world is wearing clothes.



Louis Simpson

Eugene Rosenthal

Erika Kuciw

How Do I Tell You I Love You?


How do I tell you I love you

when you already know?


My fingers tell you

as I sit beside you

in the movies,

my thumb caressing

the back of your hand.


My lips tell you

when I kiss my favorite spot,

feel the bristles of your beard.


My fingers tell you

As I soothe myself

in the fluff on your chest.


My nose tells you

when we spoon

and I hold you, pressing

my lips against your shoulders,

inhale your scent.


My eyes tell you

as they meet yours

and we drink each other

until we are full.


How do I tell you I love you

when you already know?


Every inch of our bodies speaks it.



Gail Goldstein


A Writer’s Thoughts On the Word Love


When it passed from his lips

with the sugary descent

of sap trickling from a tree

I had reason to scorn it—

to rise above its repetition, and flat promises—

its soft overuse.


How many times he hurled that word at me

and I returned it to him,

to appease his craving,

even as he hated my daily jottings,

my obsession with other words,

the time I spent alone with paper.


But when I tell you that I love you,

it will not be to oblige.

The word will be carefully chosen.

I will offer you that lonely syllable.


I will let you gather me in the evening,

then set me free the next day

to hunt synonyms

and I’ll return to you at night,

long verses falling from my hair,

new sentences on my skin.



Annabelle Moseley

Jan Altes

Stuart McCallum

The Whale’s Dream


Sing me to sleep

Sing deep sing deep

Sing of the sea

Sing low


Dive down the night

Rise into day

Sing to me as you go


Love is a liquid

I drink I drink

Life is a liquid I swim

Sky is an ocean

Where fish have wings

This lullaby is a hymn


Sing in your sleep

Sing low sing low

Sing me your dreams

Dream deep

Sing of the lull and crush of the waves

Dream me into your sleep



Susan Astor

Kate Kelly




moon at the full

reflection a tremulous swarth

you and I come here

to edge of the salt marsh

We wait

for disturbances of water

sloshing as if over round rocks

helmets rising

with the incoming tide

Horseshoe Crabs

like no other beings in the sea

armored for 250 million years


to edge of high tides

We watch

the female at our toes

With her carapace

she nudges forward the sand

hollows the nest for

three thousand jewel-green eggs

sperm-showered by the male

clasping stern of her shell

My hands clasp you

We lie under the south breeze

on soft Spartina grass

feel the spring tide beneath

Sense how near is the beginning



Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr.

John Ellsworth

Under The Northport Sky


Sunset saturated sky over the watery

end of Main Street. Blinker light blinks its

response, Northport yellow, over

parallelness of trolley tracks defiantly

displaying its echo of oysterman days

and Kerouacian nights. Modeling

of charismatic naked branches sequined

in white light lining flexed muscles

for Little Miss Night poking out

from her fancy gray cloud cover holding

onto the afterglow of the season of hope

and reconciliation, mania and manic

depression. Caffeine blues kickin’

in the Portofino night. Coffee Shop

Dave’s holdin’ up those bohemian walls

while occasional Ray lights the way

on those old worn and wise piano key

sthat used to be white back in the day,

way, way back, when a cup o’ coffee was

a nickel and a gentleman would tip his

hat to a lady in her perfectly pleated sexy,

but not too sexy, white frilled dress as

they passed on small town America’s clean

swept sidewalk. If this concrete street

could talk, I’d marry it, curl up in the middle,

and whisper sweet nothings into her tracks.



Russ Green

I have collected the men I have known like poems


the bikers & the businessmen

the tradesmen & the it's-all-about-me

the ones with green eyes &

the ones with tanned arms

the ones with long legs &

the ones with loud voices

the ones with no idea &

the ones with some kind of clue

the ones with red hair &

the ones with no money in their pockets

the ones that refused to dance with me &

the ones that dug that I dug sports

the ones that could hold a tune &

the ones that thought I love you meant walk on me

the ones that snored at night &

the ones that did not steal all the covers

the ones that knew how to kiss &

the ones that thought they could rock any girl's world

the ones I left & still remember their scent &

the ones I wish I never met but remember their names

just the same


I have kept them all with me

all the men I have known

kept them all like poems in my pocket


kept them as close as if the passing years were just days

and the days were drops of water I gathered to brew this cup of tea

I sip on my porch while I smile to myself & so many ghosts.



Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan

Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt



your body

i love

the firm form

which nestles


and the soft

crease of odor


when with you

i tingle

at the tiniest

flick of a smile

in which your face

is a blossom

that flowers

even in the fall

of snow




like lightning

i become large

stretching the seams

just barely when

the soft point of

your tongue





Thomas Brinson

Love Poem in Autumn


We walk over snapping leaves

crackling with memories of bonfires

fragrant smoke and childhood


We hold gloved hands

collars turned up

welcome filtered sunlight

through leaf-bare trees


Our autumn snugs into this autumn

seasons fitting one into the other

Our love does not wither as the leaves

but harbors hopes of spring


Yet if this season

should be our last

there will be no regrets

hasn’t it been a lovely walk?



Evelyn Kandel

Robert Harrison

Partial Eclipse


The yard rests in sudden clarity—

the roller leans eternally against the shed,

the neat stack of salvaged wood

has always been there streaked with light

like this, the feeder with the lampshade to keep the cats

from climbing up—every object stained,

at poise in antique light.


We squint through strips of negatives—

old girlfriends, tulips, trips to the zoo—

to watch the disc erode;

but our eyes fall back to the still, green world

and love, alive in our faces like scurrying birds,

these move our hands more than the sudden chill—

at poise in the new world.



Ron Overton

Bill Kreisberg

Prayer To A Surgeon


when you slip inside my skin

softer than the breast I’ve bared to you

leave something of your bluesky eyes

before you lift yourself away


here in this dreamless dark

they are all the horizon I have

and I think you may be

oh, so close to my heart



Linda Opyr

Simone Cassin-Ortiz

Shades of Inner Blue

You are always invited into the haunted manor
Of my mind, these galleries are yours to explore—
Accost my corridor cobwebs, feel the phantasmal hospitality
Of my shadows, inquire upon my every ghost.
Open the doors,
I trust you with the keys.
This mansion has many rooms, some of them locked
For decades, so many niches that have shied away
From the candle’s prying flame, dungeons that have hidden
My most sullen arcana, chained in quiescence…
Exorcise me.
Throw open my creaking windows, air the apparitions
From this musty furniture; scrape the illusion
Of comfort from my faded wallpaper—
This house
Has been waiting
A lifetime
For you
To unhaunt it.

Jay Jii

Lev Lubarsky


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